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The Electro Voice PL 20 has been an industry standard for more than 30 years. It is the most used microphone for radio-broadcasters, voice-overs and D.J's. It is a large diaphragm dynamic cardioid, which has a wide frequency range and a smooth sound. EV's use of their 'Variable D' technique makes it unaffected by the 'proximity effect', which causes exaggerated low frequencies, with other directional microphones, when used up close to the performer (at greater distances those microphones have a great loss of bottom end). This mic is dampened for noise coming from the back, but has a uniform pick-up in a wide area at the front, which benefits performers who move around, while using the mic. For 'long reach' use the mic features a bass correction switch. The microphone has a lot of padding inside which also suspends the element. It virtually unaffected by pops, hisses and sibilance. This allows use very close to a singers lips, without any unwanted sounds reaching the element.

Originally it was introduced in 1968, as the RE 20, with a light grey colour, for electronic news gathering and electronic field production, but it also turned out to be a very good studio (and live) microphone for kick-drum, upright bass and other instruments with a lot of low end, like saxophones and trombones. On top of that it is also great for very loud instruments and screaming vocalists. The RE 20 is a large microphone, it could have been a lot smaller, but EV marketing decided an impressive size would sell better and history proves them right.

In the Eighties EV decided to market it also as PL 20 (Professional LIne), in a darker shade of grey , for entertainers and the audio industry . Although many people think there is a difference between the PL and the RE series, they are absolutely identical. Somewhere in the Nineties only the RE 20 was continued.

EV still sells it, but there is also a updated version with some more highs; the RE 27 and, since a few years there is a modern budget version, the RE 320.

One of the most famous vocalists using it is Stevie Wonder.